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Gaming in the Library: Card Games

Get your game on at the Library!

Apples to Apples

A game of hilarious comparisons. Apples to Apples consists of two decks of cards: things and descriptions. Each round, the active player draws a description card (which features an adjective like "Hairy" or "Smarmy") from the deck, then the other players each secretly choose the thing card in hand that best matches that description and plays it face-down on the table. The active player then reveals these cards and chooses the thing card that, in his opinion, best matches the description card, which he awards to whoever played that thing card.

Players: 4-10, Time: 30 minutes


"To Bean or not to bean!" Ever wanted to be bean farmer? Come on, you know you have! In Bohnanza (Bohn is the German word for bean) players control two or three bean fields while trading and competing with other players for the cash the different kinds of beans bring when harvested.

Players: 2-7, Time: 30-60 minutes

Codenames: Pictures

Codenames: Pictures is based on a map board of cards made up of very strange symbols.  What are these strange symbols? They are code for locations where spies must contact secret agents!​ Two rival spymasters know the agent in each location. They deliver coded messages telling their field operatives where to go for clandestine meetings. Operatives must be clever. A decoding mistake could lead to an unpleasant encounter with an enemy agent – or worse, with the assassin! Both teams race to contact all their agents, but only one team can win.

Players: 2-8, Time: 30-60 minutes


Cribbage is a 300 year-old card game that is played with a deck of standard playing cards and a signature piece of equipment called the cribbage board. There are rules for 2, 3, and 4 player games, but cribbage is typically played as a 2 player game.

Players: 2-4, Time: variable

Deer in the Headlights

Deer in the Headlights, what's more Duluth than that?! Be the first to discard all of your cards and win the round, but watch out! A "Deer in the Headlights" roll will stall your progress. Roll a "Car" or "Running Deer" and dump cards on your opponents.

Players: 2-6, Time: 30 minutes


What is EcoFluxx? Well, it has a whole food chain of woodland creatures from leaves to bears. It has frogs and snakes and trees and fish and spiders and rabbits and mice and mushrooms and worms. It has air and water and dirt, and it has the humans whose pollution can endanger such things. EcoFluxx is a card game in which the cards themselves determine the current rules of the game. At the start of the game, each player holds three cards and on a turn a player draws one card, then plays one card. By playing cards, you can put new rules into play that change numerous aspects of the game: how many cards to draw or play, how many cards you can hold in hand or keep on the table in front of you, and (most importantly) how to win the game.

Players: 2-6, Time: 30 minutes


Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens is a kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. Players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten and loses the game. The deck is made up of cards that let you avoid exploding by peeking at cards before you draw, forcing your opponent to draw multiple cards, or shuffling the deck. The game gets more and more intense with each card you draw because fewer cards left in the deck means a greater chance of drawing the kitten and exploding in a fiery ball of feline hyperbole.

Players: 2-5, Time: 15-20 minutes


Hanabi , named for the Japanese word for "fireworks" (written as 花火; these are the ideograms flower and fire, respectively) is a coopertive game for 2-5 players where players do not play against each other but work together towards a common goal. In this case the players are absent-minded fireworks manufacturers who accidently mixed up powders, fuses, and rockets from a fireworks display. The players must work together to stop the fireworks show from becoming a disaster!

Players: 2-5, Time: 20-30 minutes


Munchkin is a light-hearted twist on roleplaying games. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. Wear the Boots of Butt Kicking, wield the Staff of Napalm, or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment, head down in the dungeon, kill everything you meet, backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run. Simple fun.

Players: 2-8, Time: 60-180 minutes


Quiddler has been described as a mixture of Scrabble and Gin Rummy. It's a game for 2-8 people where the objective is to score the most points by creating words from lettered cards. Bonus points can be earned for the most words created and longest word created out of a hand.

Players: 2-8, Time: 30-45 minutes


Splendor is a game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops—all in order to acquire the most prestige points. If you're wealthy enough, you might even receive a visit from a noble at some point, which of course will further increase your prestige.

Players: 2-4, Time: 30-60 minutes


In Uno players race to empty their hands and catch opposing players with cards left in theirs, which score points. In turns, players attempt to play a card by matching its color, number, or word to the topmost card on the discard pile. If unable to play, players draw a card from the draw pile, and if still unable to play, they pass their turn. Wild and special cards spice things up a bit.

Players: 2-10, Time: 20-40 minutes.